Before I take a break for two weeks of decorating and tasting (hopefully not at the same time) in the Loire Valley, there’s time for one last tasting report on three wines from Domaine des Tilleuls.
This domaine in the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine region has been in the same family for five generations, the latest to arrive being brother and sister Jérôme and Noémie Houssin. I met Jérôme at Vinovision in Paris earlier this year, and then I met his wines again in the recently published Decanter Lees-Aged Muscadet tasting (in the June 2017 edition). I was pleased to receive three sample bottles from Jérôme a few weeks ago.
The philosophy here is conventional, with an agriculture raisonnée approach, the aim being to reduce but not necessarily eradicate vineyard treatments. There are 35 hectares of vines, led by Melon de Bourgogne but with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc for IGP wines. Vinifications are traditional, and some cuvées are bottled under a DIAM closure.
Domaine des Tilleuls Chardonnay Sélection (IGP Val de Loire) 2016: This is classic Loire Chardonnay on the nose, with some slightly bitter notes of leafy white peach and apricot stone, although there is a touch of pine needle and lemon pith vaguely reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc more than Chardonnay. The palate is fresh, lightly textured, with peach skin and pine needle fruit, a slightly supple, resinous texture, and a short and pithy finish. Quite charming, in the apéro style. 14.5/20 • 89/100 (May 2017)
Domaine des Tilleuls Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie Essentielle 2016: A very pale hue. An atttractive nose, on a classically styled base of salted green pears, but with an aromatic, perfumed note reminiscent of honeysuckle and acacia. The palate has a supple weight, very lightly creamed fruit character moving from pears to white peach skin and apricot stone, with a fresh, tingling acid spine, presented in a very delicate but precise manner. A short finish. This is good. 15/20 • 90/100 (May 2017)
Domaine des Tilleuls Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Les Quatre Chanteaux 2014: This has a pale straw hue. It starts with a nose of salty white peach skin, dried citrus pith, with a dry and bitter character. A firmly constructed palate, with the same pithy substance and energy as suggested by the nose, a dry structure, a bright acid-fresh character and a long pithy bitter finish. Fresh, supple, with a very saline character, but it needs time in the glass to shows its best, a couple of hours at least. A Muscadet for the decanter, maybe? 15.5/20 • 91/100 (May 2017)